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Sox Six-Pack! 

Draining oil cans with Sox Fan Mark Liptak

The last few weeks have brought an assortment of odds and ends from the Sox in Arizona. None of them are worthy of a separate column but all were interesting, amusing, sickening or puzzling.  All were worthy of some type of comment, so drain a few oil cans along with me!

Oil Can #1.  Did you see Jim Parque’s comments after Jerry Manuel repeatedly expressed concern over the velocity of his pitches? Parque brought up an excellent point when he said "I thought it was about getting people out, not how hard you throw." Then he used the example of a guy like Jamie Moyer, who doesn’t throw hard but knows how to pitch and wins because of it. What concerned me though was another one of Parque’s quotes. "The next time I go out there I’ll just have to throw harder..." Interesting isn’t it that a guy who just blew out his shoulder is willing to blow it out again just to impress a manager who never pitched a game in his life. Sort of makes you wonder if the Sox coaching staff was told something about this being a "must win" season by somebody in "upper management" and is already hitting the panic button.

Oil Can #2.  Speaking of pitching (or lack of same).... It’s a sad commentary on the state of the club when fans who were warning that all of these injured pitchers couldn’t all come back, are turning out to be right. What does that say about the folks running the team who are "supposed" to know what they are doing?

More about pitching.....If you’ve been listening to the broadcasts of Spring Training games, you’ll already know that the Mariners, Padres and Angels announcers have commented on how Sox pitching doesn’t look good and how the guys on the mound "seem to be laboring out there." Too bad we can’t hear that from our announcers.

Oil Can #3.  But what we DO hear from guys like Ed Farmer is this. "If Sox management thought that these (injured) guys weren’t going to come back, they never would have traded three guys for (Todd) Ritchie." Surprising isn’t it, that a guy who pitched for ten plus years in the majors wouldn’t know that any doctor will tell you it takes a full year, to eighteen months or longer to come back from serious arm surgery before you can throw as hard. (see Matt Morris, Kerry Wood, Jason Bere). Seems to me that Sox management probably knew this but disregarded it because of concerns (sniff) over the size (choke) of the payroll (sob) and the "lack of fan support".

And we’ve got this from "Hawk" Harrelson during WGN’s telecast of the A’s / Sox game on March 16th. "We’ve got a good defensive team this year." The Sox went out and made four errors.

Oil Can #4.  While we’re on the subject of that telecast, did you see Sox Marketing Director Rob Gallas? It was a hoot! Harrelson was interviewing him and asked when the first Sunday promotion was. GALLAS COULDN’T REMEMBER! Harrelson also asked him what was the phone number for fans to call if they wanted tickets (the Sox recently changed it to a new number) GALLAS COULDN’T REMEMBER AGAIN!!!!! I guess Rob wasn’t a boy scout because he "wasn’t prepared." Strange considering he probably knew he was going to be interviewed during the game.

In case you didn’t know, Gallas was a sportswriter for the Daily Herald, before getting the job as the Sox Marketing Director. I fail to see how the two are connected, but Jerry Reinsdorf obviously did.

In addition, Gallas has this claim to "White Sox fame." On July 2, 1980, Gallas was physically attacked by then Sox announcer Jimmy Piersall. Gallas had speculated in a story about the reasons why Piersall was recently dismissed as a coach. Piersall didn’t particularly care for the story and decided to do something about it, before several onlookers pulled him away. One can only wonder how the popularity of the franchise might have been changed had no one intervened.

Oil Can #5.  Dave Campbell, former big leaguer, and member of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight team had this to say on the Sox. "When you’ve got a lot of young pitchers, you don’t want to be giving extra outs, they (the Sox) have got to start catching the ball."

Just wondering... after what the Sox did to Mark Buehrle in his contract negotiations this year, do you get the idea the next time Mark talks about getting traded to the Cardinals he won’t be "joking".

Oil Can #6.  And finally, the numbers are in. In the 21 seasons that Jerry Reinsdorf has owned the club, the Sox have made the playoffs three times and have yet to even win a single home post season game. Meanwhile during that time, ten different American League teams went to the World Series. Guess he’s still looking for someone to get him to "point c" eh?


All comments, questions and thoughts are always welcome. Contact me at

Editor's Note:  Mark Liptak is an experienced sports journalist, holding several awards for both his electronic and print media work.  He has held numerous sports reporting positions for various TV and newspaper organizations, including Director of Sports for KNOE-TV (Monroe, Louisiana) and KPVI-TV (Pocatello, Idaho), and sports writer for the Idaho Falls Free Press, where his column "Lip Service" has appeared for for a number of years.  "Lip", his wife, and cats presently live in Chubbuck, Idaho, where they collectively comprise 100 percent of the Pocatello River Valley's long-time Sox Fan population.  

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